Change Tourism, Not Climate!

Cover of the publication "Change Tourism"

About this publication

Tourism has been identified as one of the major contributors of global warming, primarily due to the high energy use for transport. If tourism was a country, its current Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions would today rank fifth, after the USA, China, the European Union and Russia. Given the expected international tourism boom in the coming years, the forecasts are even more perturbing.

This book sets out to explain why this untenable situation has emerged, namely the failure of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to explicitly include GHGs generated by tourism in any global reduction targets as well as in the negotiations on the post-2012 reduction targets. It highlights the absence of considerations of equity and justice in tourism and climate change discussions among policymakers and industry leaders and critically assesses the UN World Tourism Organisation and its position on sustainable tourism.

Unless tourism policymakers take drastic action to reverse the dominant “business-as-usual” attitude within the industry, tourism will become a key force of GHG emissions in the world, undermining the overall progress made to stem global climate change.


  1. Background
  2. Myths of Tourism's “Pro-Poor” and “Sustainable" Nature
  3. Tourism's “Responsibility” to Tackle Climate Change
  4. Tourism's Involvement in False Climate Change Solutions
  5. Biofuels For Aviation – Another False Solution
  6. What the UNWTO Should Be Doing
Tourism Climate Change


by Anita Pleumarom
March 2009
Anita Pleumarom is a geographer and political scientist trained at the Free University of Berlin, Germany. She currently coordinates the Bangkok-based Tourism Investigation & Monitoring Team (tim-team) and is editor of New Frontiers. She has also published in Thailand and internationally numerous articles on the critical issues of tourism in the developing world, sustainable and ecotourism, and golf resort developments.


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ISBN 978-967-5412-10-3

Previously published

Change Tourism, Not Climate!: What the UNWTO should be doing